Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs

Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the layer tools, top right, to change the map style or to view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

February 24, 2016

Probably the Best Day Ever

Cora Knauss, University of Washington

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Sophia taking down the flag as we leave America

Ship's Log

Making way north, from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic

Description of Location
Going over the Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean

010° psc

7.3 knots

Weather / Wind
Great evening for sailing, Easterly winds, Force 4

Souls on Board

Starting off the day, we were awoken at the usual 0600, ready for a day of exploration and departure from San Juan, Puerto Rico. My watch was tasked with cleaning the deck after breakfast, in true sailor fashion. By 0830 we were unleashed onto the streets of Old San Juan, in search of Wi-Fi, postcards, and a decent latte. Finding the latte first at a local shop recommended by our Chief Scientist, Jeff, a group of eight of us carried on towards one of the two old forts, El Morro, hoping to find postcards along the way. Reaching the fort sans post cards, we took in the view by sketching it out in our journals followed by a light addition of watercolors. With a 1200 call back to the boat, it was the perfect amount of time to get our final ice cream from the street vendors, and look for a thrift store, which
we found to be closed. Back at the boat, lunch consumed us, and we prepared to make sail, leaving the states and cell service behind.

After making way, the day could only get better. I'll have you know that the seasickness the third time you go out onto the open ocean is much less of a chore to deal with then the first two. I guess "third time’s the charm" is prevalent even in the maritime world. Standing as lookout I got to avoid the heaving that is involved in lifting the sails, instead I was able to marvel at them as they were raised together. For the greater part of the afternoon my watch was on duty (fine by me as I used it as an excuse to have the salty air in my hair once again), it was smooth sailing at perfect temperatures, occasionally the waves would crash on the deck getting the watches onboard soaked, but all in good fun.

The real sail handling, and the first time I have felt like a true sailor on board, began with furling the jib, taking it down and securing it to the boat. We mounted the bowsprit, over the rocking swells, grabbing the sail in even bites and tying it off with a slippery reef knot. As the watch was about to change, we were needed to reef the main, a process of loosening it, making it a shorter sail, and again tying it off with a reef knot.

During the course of the 45 minutes it took to reef the main, the stars had begun to come out. Not just normal stars, but think of the best planetarium and times it by twenty stars. There was no way R.E.Y.'s children’s book of stars could have prepared me for this. While looking up to the universe in all its glory was spectacular, the ocean had its own light show. There was bioluminescence everywhere; of course I was ecstatic to see this, because in a few hours I will be on lab watch, and bioluminescence is what my oceanography project is on, and now I get to work through the real data!

Though dinner was later than expected it did not disappoint, the salad even had dried cherries, one of my favorites. Next is sleep for a few short hours, with more excitement to come.

- Cora

Previous entry: First Week Aboard    Next entry: Water’s next?


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Susan Knauss on February 26, 2016

Thanks for the great update, Cora! I feel like I’m along for the journey while reading your descriptions.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the reference to Rey’s Constellation Book…that actually brought a smile to my face and a little tear to my eye!

Glad to hear that the seasickness is easing up a bit.

#2. Posted by Barbara Johansen on February 27, 2016

Hello Emma and crew!
We are following you wonderful blog from Barbados. Wish you would sail by for lattes!
So excited to keep up with your travels and experiences as we read your postings and enjoy the pictures & video!
We wave at the sailors going by, as we enjoy the west coast of Barbados, and think of you!
Post more pictures!,
Barbara, Kathleen & Kevin

#3. Posted by Steve Knauss on February 27, 2016

The stars are a sight!  It is good to hear that the sea sickness is easier to deal with.  Have fun in Cuba!

#4. Posted by Jodie Condon on February 28, 2016

Hello Corwith Cramer Captain & Crew,

It is great fun hearing about your time in San Juan! And thanks for the detailed accounting of your days at sea.
It seems each day brings new and even more exciting opportunities. As you know-these multi-sensory, first hand experiences provide optimal learning and creativity. These days are being logged in your personal memory books, and will provide amazing life-long benefits.
How lucky and fortunate for everyone- you, your family, friends and our world!
So drink it all in, enjoy each moment and be gracious for the Sea Semester Team.

-The Condon Family

#5. Posted by Kathie Joseph on February 28, 2016

Hi Michelle,
We got the coffee - thank you for sending it and it is delicious.  I hope you are having a wonderful time.  Love you! Mom, Dad and Natalie

#6. Posted by Ilda Lee on February 28, 2016

Emma:We have got our eyes on you!  What a great experience you are having, and we look forward to hearing all about your learning adventure when you return.  We do check the website and look for the flaming red curls, so don’t hide them too much.  How great that Barbara is keeping up with your journey!
We have had lots of strong winds and heavy rain here but no snow, but I envy your beautiful surroundings.  Learn lots and have fun.
Love, Gigi and Pappy



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.